Childhood experiences last a lifetime

You can be part of children’s early learning experiences and make a significant difference to their lives. Explore our childcare careers website to find out how.

About the career

In this career you could work with children of all ages. The range of services includes nurseries, family centres, playgroups, crèches, breakfast clubs, after school and holiday clubs. If you’re interested in starting your own business you could become a registered childminder. Read on to find out what the career offers and why there’s never been a better time to start.

A rewarding career

Working with children brings many rewards. It’s a chance to see children grow in their development and become confident, independent learners.

As a childcare professional you get to be a part of the fun, messy and wonderful learning process. The care and education you provide and the relationships you build will make sure children have the best start in life.

Why this career is so important

The early years of life are the most important for learning. At this time the brain is developing and the foundations are built for the rest of a child’s life.

Making Scotland the best place to grow up

With big increases planned for funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in Scotland there’s never been a better time to start your career.

Registering with the SSSC

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the regulatory body for social service workers. We register workers from key professional groups and make sure they are trusted, skilled and confident at work.

Most childcare professionals will need to register with the SSSC. Childminders register as a service with the Care Inspectorate and therefore do not require SSSC registration.

Read about the SSSC Codes of Practice and registration categories in this section.

The Codes of Practice

If you register with the SSSC (or with the Care Inspectorate if you are a childminder) you must agree to follow the Codes.

Registration categories

Discover the SSSC registration categories and how they relate to qualification requirements.

Other life changing careers in social services

One of the main things to remember in this career is that there’s lots of diversity. If you’re committed to working with people and passionate about your own learning you’ll find that your career can take a number of different paths.

1 in every 13 people employed in Scotland work in social services, so just imagine how many different types of job you’ll find if you decide to change direction later.

A related career is residential childcare where social service workers provide a safe, caring home for children and young people who live away from their family. In this career you would help children and young people to overcome complex challenges, do well in education and succeed in life. Experience in a day care of children service plus a qualification in childcare at SCQF level 7 or above can support you with this career move.

You can work with children, adults and families in other social service settings. This includes care homes and peoples own homes. If you have a current SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) you can get credit towards the SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at the same level which will support this career move.

You can explore social service careers further at

You might also be interested to explore careers in the NHS at

Meet the people

This is a career with many pathways.

If you're already working or just getting started these real career examples will show you the directions you can take.

How to get started

There are many ways to gain experience and qualifications so that you can get started in your career.
Pathway key
Learn by
Learn in the
Learn in
Learn in
Select a qualification below for more detail

SCQF level 6

SCQF level 7

SCQF level 8

SCQF level 9

SSSC Registration categories

Support worker
Lead practitioner or Manager

Further information

In partnership with